‘Fit club’ takes away excuses, makes a difference

LIHU‘E — Everyone knows they need to eat right and exercise more, but most of us manage to work it out of our schedule as we conjure up excuses of time, inconvenience or expense.

Tiffani Yim has made the difference for several in the community who have joined her Monday evening aerobics classes at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center. She has taught the workouts since August 2010 and says management supports it as a way of addressing obesity and healthy communities.

Classes are by donation only and include a program based on the Beachbody workout system. There are several workout variations so that participants don’t tire of any one DVD routine.

“It’s really fun for us to get together each week, and people look forward to the class,” Yim said. “Although some are more advanced, I have people of all levels who come and do things at their own pace.”

Yim is one of about 51,000 independent Beachbody coaches that share in a mission to end the trend of obesity. She leads a program based on the Beachbody system to help people reach their health and fitness goals.

“I do my part by having these fitness classes as a way for everyone to come together, have fun, and workout,” Yim said. “Beachbody has created popular workout programs you may have heard of, like P90X, Insanity, Hip Hop Abs and Turbo Fire, as well as the nutritional shake Shakeology.”

As a Beachbody coach, Yim said she encourages participants to continue the workout at home and assists with ordering any of the DVDs. She provides guidance on working out safely and effectively, and offers information and support to motivate people to push themselves.

Reiko Yoshida, 31, of Kapa‘a, said she joined the class for workouts and motivation through Yim. Her goals are to become stronger as she progresses and to push herself.

“I love aerobic conditioning via the Beachbody workouts,” She said. “There is no other workout system like it. I have become stronger and way more fit when I do these workouts regularly.”

Yoshida said she has maintained fitness all along and her routines included workout videos. The Beachbody system works for her in class and on her own, she said, and it’s more fun than running, her other passion.

“It has worked well for my own personal workout habits since I can do them on my own schedule and in the comfort of my own home,” she said. “I can feel myself getting stronger if I keep it up.”

People have different attitudes and needs about nutrition and exercise. Some yearn to live healthier and maintain their weight, while others want to achieve a hard body and the lifestyle that goes with optimum fitness.

The Beachbody programs, according to Yim, are designed to help someone get into the best shape of their life, no matter how modest or advanced. Coaches such as Yim organize “fit clubs” all around the country, and she thought it would be great to have one going on Kaua‘i.

“It goes well with Beachbody’s mission to ‘end the trend of obesity’,” Yim said.

The Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center made the space available on a trial basis in support of community efforts to get people more active and thinking about health and fitness.

“After a trial period they have allowed me to extend my classes and keep them going as long as the community shows an interest,” Yim said.

Poor nutrition and lack of exercise contributes to the nation’s ongoing obesity epidemic, and Yim said that people would be more motivated to do effective exercise in a fun environment.

“A lot of times people feel alone and struggle when starting a new workout program,” Yim said. “This is a great way for them to keep interested and have fun.”

Beachbody programs come with nutritional guides to help take the guesswork out eating. Yim is there to answer questions about various programs and can recommend safe substitutions.

“We also have an online meal planner tool that can be customized for each individual,” Yim said. “I am definitely open to helping anyone at my class come up with better nutritional choices and helping them figure out what works best to help them reach their goals.”

Yim said the best way to stick with a program is to create a consistent exercise schedule. She said establishing a daily routine helps people feel better about themselves because they have more energy and a better attitude.

“Getting started is usually the hardest part, so coming together with a group of people once a week can help them to stay engaged in their program,” she said. “There are many excuses and ‘not enough time’ is the biggest one, but it’s about making time for yourself and knowing that your health and fitness is an important part of your life.”

The class starts at 5:15 p.m. every Monday at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center in the old, smaller building.

• Tom LaVenture, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or tlaventure@ thegardenisland.com..

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